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LAUNCH OF THE NEXT GENERATION OPEN DATA PORTAL
The new Open Data Portal, data.gc.ca, enables access to government data through one central location, providing a catalogue of datasets in one place, so that users do not have to go searching on multiple government websites.
The next-generation data.gc.ca is using the most recent Open Government Platform (OGPL). The Open Government Platform is a leading-edge collaborative open source software, which includes a number of interactive features, such as the ability to rate and comment on datasets, and a blog. Open Data users will also be pleased with the enhanced search functionality. Data.gc.ca offers new interactive capabilities that will make finding and using government data easier and more user-friendly.
The open source development of OGPL also allows Canada to benefit from the international community, and to contribute back to this community by sharing the software code for our improvements and alterations. Canada has made significant improvements to the code by applying its Web Experience Toolkit to the OGPL, which has helped make the Open Government Platform more accessible, mobile friendly and able to manage data in multiple languages (currently up to 33 languages).
The design of the new portal was guided by roundtable consultations that took place in five cities across Canada from March 2013 to May 2013. The Open Data community, including entrepreneurs and developers, participated in these sessions and shared their views on the features and content they felt would be key requirements for the portal. Their feedback was invaluable and helped guide the portal's transformation.
Data.gc.ca contains datasets compiled by over 20 departments and agencies, covering a broad range of topics, from housing, to health and environmental data. People can explore local census or crime statistics, immigration and air quality data, coast-to-coast-to-coast mapping data, and much more.
Open Data is Canada's new natural resource. The possibilities for using this data are as infinite as our imaginations. As more Canadians become aware of data.gc.ca, and download Government of Canada datasets, the potential to drive innovation, and spur economic growth increases. The Government of Canada anticipates that more Open Data users, including developers, academics and entrepreneurs, will make use of the new portal, see its potential for collaborative and transparent governance, and provide input for the continued addition of new and better datasets.
Open Government Partnership Commitments
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global initiative launched in 2011 to secure concrete commitments from member countries to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Currently there are approximately 56 countries that are members of the Open Government Partnership.
In April 2012, the President of the Treasury Board presented Canada's Action Plan on Open Government and officially joined the OGP. The Action Plan is a set of 12 concrete commitments that address the future of Open Data and information sharing, as well as citizen and stakeholder engagement.
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